Majid Jordan : The Space Between [Album Review]


Majid_jordan_the_space_between

Majid Jordan is one of the rising acts from Octobers Very Own music label. The label is headed by Drake, Noah “40” Shebib and Oliver El-Khatib. The roster includes such names as PARTYNEXTDOOR and Roy Woods. The roster is full of heavy hitters who specialized mostly in Hip-Hop and RnB. Majid Jordan is compromised of Majid Al-Maskati and Jordan Ullman. The duo was known for their atmospheric and darker tones of RnB. The basslines and smooth vocals usually float really well and have given Majid Jordan a unique sound.

Their sophomore album The Space Between features a more pop and spatial sound than their previous releases. The album features mostly productions by Jordan Ullman with a track featuring in-house producer nineteen85 but also features PARTYNEXTDOOR and DVSN. The sound is very spacious with deep percussions and smooth basslines.

Tracks like “Gave your love away” was featured on OVO’s radio station previous to the release and it was a much-needed hype to the album release. The smooth melodic vocals, deep rhythms, and smooth sounds make this a standout on the album. Then you have songs like “Body Talk” that features a Dembow percussive rhythm heard in reggeaton or dancehall. The song itself creates a slow and intimate vibe that increases pace as the song progresses. The perfect song for a slow dance with a lover. There is no doubt that “One I Want” featuring PARTYNEXTDOOR is the single that will be a commercial success. The song features a slow bounce synth and soft bass kicks; then you have PARTYNEXTDOOR singing the chorus and opening verse. Majid eventually compliments the first verse with his and amplifies the song with his ability to hit high notes. A clear love song that has everything for a pop RnB song.

Support from label mate DVSN on “My Imagination” give a simplified and yet complex song of spatial synths and bouncy percussions that compliment the singers’ smooth vocals throughout the song. Overall the album is an evolution of Majid Jordans’ sound and shows some growth. The lack of features from labelmates suggests that Majid Jordan is ready to make their own way out of the shadows of Drake and Noah Shebib. They create their own unique sound that complimentary reflects OVO’s sad boy RnB sound.  There is much growth in their latest project, but could their sound maintain this continuous evolution that reflects spatial sound and lyrics that reflect introverted thoughts? The album is not a party anthem album; it’s not even really a single loaded album. It’s an album with a theme that correlates to each continuous track that could stand alone on its own accord, but you wouldn’t want to do that. You want to start from beginning to end and go through this journey of emotions, thoughts, and reflections that are present throughout the album.

 

 

///Victor

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Spooky Times-An Album Review


downloadWelcome again to spooky time—the one time of year society encourages the exploration into scarier things. This year, I have something special for you. Not just another scary movie review or haunted house breakdown, and for the love of all that is holy, this blog is going to have ZERO to do with Stranger Things.

No my friends…today, we will be exploring spooky tunes, where it’s all about the spook, the whole spook and nothing but the spook. If you reach deep down into the obscurest of genres you may stumble onto the delightfully haunting sound that permeates Trip Hop and none have more trip in their hop than the English electronic band Portishead. Straight out of Bristol, the band delivers a devastatingly dark sound punctuated with the eerie bleating of the Hammond organ and a clever use of samples including everything from War to Isaac Hayes.

In 1994, Portishead’s debut album Dummy took spooky to a whole new level and nothing as of yet has rivaled it. Looking for something to croon in the background of your life throughout the entire month of October as you wait impatiently for Halloween? This would be the album for you.

The lead vocalist Beth Gibbons sends her voice to slither down your spine, chilling your very bones with a downright creepy sound that grips your attention, forcing your body to sway. The music video for the second track on the album “Sour Times” actually features spooky scenes from a short film made by the band (now that is dedication).

Lyrically hypnotizing, Portishead sings of forgotten dreams and imparts sage advice.

“You don’t get something for nothing…gotta try a little harder”

Strongly recommend tracks: “Sour Times”, “It Could Be Sweet” and “Roads”.

Bands with similar sound: Massive Attack, Radio Head, and Bjork

Young Thug: Young Martha [EP Review]


carnage-young-thug-1-800x600Young thug and EDM DJ Carnage deliver not just another banger collaborative track, but a whole EP titled Young Martha. The EP has some really standout tracks. The EP is titled after Martha Stewart, who is respected amongst many rappers and those in the Hip-Hop community because Martha Stewart made millions and even did jail time. The first track features Meek Mills and delivers a nice flow and an original sound to Rap music. You even get alternate vocal tone shifts by Young Thug himself. Songs like Liger has more of a traditional party track sound by Thugger, but what makes it an interesting song is the mention of buying a Liger, a much rarer animal than even Tigers. This is a reference to his style and rap skills being unique and one of a kind. Then you close up with a club-friendly, EDM track titled Don’t Call Me and it has a bass house vibe. The EP is well constructed with party anthems for the House Party and even the club. It’s a must download/stream
https://open.spotify.com/embed/album/1uPwwIkzsCOanBsLExFitZ
The direction Carnage has taken as a producer has gone more of a Hip Hop-friendly EDM sound which has helped to close the gap between contemporary pop rap and EDM. This sound is heavily prevalent in the percussion and synths with this EP. We can expect to hear more of Carnage collaborating with many rap artists because it has become clear its a winning formula. This formula is often most popularized by major EDM producers like Diplo and Brodinski. The former having worked with everyone from M.I.A. to Travis Scott, while Brodinski brought that Atlanta Trap and Techno EDM fusion with such rappers as 21 savage and has pushed the barrier of the sound.

Young Thug is pushed lyrically and presents a picture of growth and reflection with mentions of growing up due to his parental responsibilities as a teen. Mentions of surrounding himself with “Homies” who have his back in not just physical confrontations, but with regards to snitchin’, financially, and supportively.

This whole collaboration between Carnage and Young Thug came forth because of a year old track called Don’t Call Me featured on Carnage’s Soundcloud account and culminated with this EP. This EP is stylized after a similar project of Young Thugs to create a trilogy of releases that culminate with an album. So we can anticipate much more from the two pushing the pop rap and EDM scenes into a head-on collision; Which shall push the boundaries of the two respective music cultures. Young Martha barely scratches the surface of what we can expect to hear from both collaborators.

The first single released for the EP is Homie which showcases a visual illusion that rolls through an infinite series of ceiling and floor with no real distinguished ceiling. The video is ultimately weird but reflects the eeriness of the music itself by the two collaborators.

Movie Review: Stephen King’s IT, 2017


UntitledWARNING: SPOILERS!

Over the weekend, I visited my boyfriend at his family’s house. While I was there, I suggested we go see IT.

I usually hate watching scary movies, but this was one that I decided, “Why not! What’s the worst that could happen?”

Everything. ‘Everything’ was the worst that could happen.

Although, I found myself enjoying the film immensely, I still have a hard time sleeping.

For those who don’t know, IT was originally created by Stephen King as a book. In 1990, IT got a movie adaptation that was created by Tommy Lee Wallace and starred Tim Curry as the original Pennywise The Dancing Clown.

In this new, remastered version of the movie, Bill Skarsgård brings Pennywise back to life in a chilling, horrifying, thrilling way. I thought Bill did a fantastic job at portraying the evil clown, especially with his smile and off-set eyes. Which, I found out, he could do ‘on cue’. Meaning that he could intentionally drift his eyes 2 different directions. This was one of the creepiest factors that caught me off-guard, but I found to be the most useful for his roll.

The movie takes place during a summer in the 80s, as 7 kids set out to defeat a living nightmare. Losers’ Club leader, Bill Denbrough, played by Jaeden Lienberher, has a strong belief that his younger brother Georgie, played by Jackson Robert Scott, isn’t dead. He is dead-set on the thought that his brother came out of another end of the sewers, after falling in to reclaim a paper boat Bill made for him to play with in the rain.

Throughout the movie, Pennywise takes advantage of Bill’s fear; finding Georgie truly dead. This was the main plot of the movie.

In my opinion, I thought this movie was very well-made. Just within the first few minutes of the movie, I was already in tears (Poor Georgie!).

There was always that feeling that Georgie wasn’t really dead, and was simply taken as hostage by Pennywise. I wanted to believe that the boy was alive the whole movie, but I don’t think anyone would’ve survived getting their arm bitten off and losing that much blood. Still, I have a huge soft spot for children, and I honestly wanted to believe Bill that Georgie was alive and well.

Bill was always full of hope, and would do anything to make sure his friends were safe and okay with his decisions. He was brave when entering the house on Neibolt street, and Richie even comments on his monologue, “He didn’t stutter once.” Which was a noticeable trait of Bill throughout the movie, and he would try reciting poetry to help him get over his stuttering habit.

Though, my favorite part of the movie had to be the ending scene where the kids go and save Beverly in the sewers. This was my favorite scene because it shows how Pennywise knows the fears of each kid, and uses it against them while they make their way through the sewer pipes. I enjoyed seeing the CGI effects when Stanley’s face was being engulfed by his fear, which was a women in a painting with an off-puting face. She is creepy in her own way, and reminded me of the Mother from Mama.

But I also liked this scene because we finally see where Pennywise hides and takes his victims. It’s oddly appealing to the eye, as you get a glimpse of all the children Pennywise has taken and killed over the years- which is hundreds. The pile of lost toys and clothes from his victims pile up in the center of the sewers, creating a mountain of sorts. Floating around it are all the children the clown has taken and feasted upon.

If that doesn’t creep you out enough, you must not like children.

Another scene I enjoyed was when Eddie fell from the ceiling and broke his arm, only to wake up to find Pennywise “untangling” himself from inside a fridge. This was a scene from when the kids went into the Neibolt house the first time.

The whole process of him getting himself out of a knot was disgusting, and made me cringe from my head to my toes. The discombobulation of body parts irks me to no end, but this was a scene that sent chills down my spine in a good way.

Altogether, I give this movie an 8.9 out of 10. I’m docking points because I would’ve liked to see more “scary” aspects than creepy. Not to say there were hardly any- there were- but I think the movie could’ve had more jump scares than just a creepy clown staring at children from afar holding balloons. I also thought- when a jump scare did occur- it was too obvious, and people knew when it was coming.

I highly recommend seeing this movie sometime before Halloween, so you know what to expect from your crazy neighbor who enjoys scaring the living hell out of children.

 

Ashes by NateWantsToBattle: Song Review


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WARNING: Spoilers!!!

 

You ever have a song that you listen to one time, and end up keeping it on repeat until you get sick of it? Well, I’ve been a victim of this ever since I heard the song Ashes, by NateWantsToBattle.

Let me tell you a little about the artist, first.

His full name is Nathan Sharp, and he creates song covers. I’ve been listening to him for about a year now, and I haven’t hated a single song he’s remade. He is from Richmond, Virginia, and specializes in Alt/Indie and Rock songs.

This song- Ashes- in particular gives me chills because the lyrics are a mix of creepy yet have a beat that makes me want to head-bang in my car and sing out loud with the windows rolled down on the freeway.

I also really love this song because it’s actually about a video game. The game is called Undertale, and-for those who don’t know- it’s a “Choice” game.

This means that whatever choices you make in the game will determine how the game is played and how it ends. It can be played on PC, and is hours of fun with a very dark undertone. If you like that sort of thing.

One of the endings is called- SPOILER- “Genocide Route”, which can only be achieved if you kill everyone without mercy.

Pretty depressing, huh? But I promise; it’s a good game!

Anyways, one of the lines in the song is, “Made your decision now you’re gonna have a bad time.”

This line particularly stuck with me because one of the characters you meet and befriend is a skeleton named Sans, along with his brother Papyrus. Sans is meant to be the comic relief of the game; cracking jokes and making horrible puns. When Sans gets upset or angry, he tells others that they will have a “bad time.”

Near the end of the game, once you’ve killed everyone in Undertale, your last opponent is Sans.

In short, a talking flower manipulates you to kill all your friends.

NWTB’s song Ashes is about how you became this monster who only kills for enjoyment, rather than trying to see the good in people.

I honestly thought this song would be used in more AMVs on Youtube, but I wanted it for myself and ended up buying it on iTunes instead.

Anyways, I’ve had this song on repeat for the past 3 weeks, put it as my ringtone for everyone in my contacts, and made it my alarm song.

I regret nothing!

To further explain how much I enjoy this song, another like is, “And in the end they’re gonna fall and fall to your hand.”

This line is a direct description of the manipulative, talking flower- who’s name is Flowey. He tried very hard to get you to kill everything and everyone, but you do have the option not to listen to him.

If you enjoy listening to songs that sound like they would be played at the end-credits of games, I recommend listening to NateWantsToBattle. He’s a really great artist, and I hope this review has intrigued you even a little bit to go have a listen.

The Sacramento Sound-A Local Band Review: Face the Horizon and Occupy the Trees


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The Sacramento Sound-A Local Band Review
Face the Horizon and Occupy the Trees

Sacramento boasts of being the birthplace of greats like Deftones, Cake, and Tesla, to name a few. If I try hard enough I can actually picture them on the cluttered stages of small suburban venues, fighting to differentiate themselves from the unceasing shuffle of sound. I am more than excited to be a part of sharing the beginnings of what I hope are the next generation of greats, starting with two bands I have some serious admiration for.

Occupy the Trees: A fun loving Sacramento Alt-rock band with curious deviations into the world of ska with a dash of skate punk

Charlie Sand-vocals guitar
Parker Barnes-lead guitar
Chris London-Bass
Nathaniel Wilson-Drums

Occupy the Trees held an opening slot in a recent local showcase at the Boardwalk; tasked with setting the tone, Charlie Sand and the band did not disappoint. They took to the stage with a gusto born of genuine boyish enthusiasm and it didn’t take long for the energy to catch on. Lyrically the band delivers an entertaining and relatable slice-of-life story full of satirical anecdotes. Sand on lead vocals has a catchy, adaptable style complemented well by a solid walking bass line and whimsical guitar riffs. Favorites of the night were the songs Words Like Bullets and Sorry, the latter was a blast live as the whole band joined forces to get the audience to sing along. Their musical style ranges from an upbeat punk/ska hybrid reminiscent of Sublime to the fast-paced melodic sounds of the early 90’s. Check them out on sound cloud!

https://soundcloud.com/occupythetrees

Face the Horizon: All the things you like from a heavy-experimental sound and none of the things you don’t

Robert Lynn-Vocals
Hal Trevor Williams-Guitar
Keywan Ryland-Drums
Chris Crimson-Bass

Front man Robert is right at home on stage, his charisma and obvious enthusiasm translates to the role of an entertainer well. He’s something like a heavy metal MJ, the passion for his craft is evident in every exaggerated move. Big kudo’s to the nod they gave the late Chris Cornell, pulling off an exceptional cover of “Like a Stone”. Cornell’s renowned range is not an easy one to replicate, let alone pull off with a grit and passion worthy of the man’s legacy. From twangy guitar solos and perfectly timed drum fills to the funk-rock heartbeat of the bass, Face the Horizon succeeds in putting the elements of their music together in a way that complement not competes. All in all they have made my ‘must see’ list and I encourage you to check them out when given the chance, you won’t be sorry. Check out a Face the Horizon original, “Cutthroat” on YouTube!

https://youtu.be/7JTubi_mOVk

-DJ Chy

 

 

 

 

 

 

p.s.

The journey each of us takes with music is an intensely personal one, my hope for this series is not to take away from your journey but to share my own. I will work hard to cultivate objectivity in the hope that it lends creditability to my opinion. But it’s just an opinion.

 

Album Review: Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?


Black Lips’ new album is just like any other album they’ve released in the past 15 years, exciting and very different than any other release out there right now. In Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?, they’ve introduced a full time saxophonist Zumi Rosow, while two long-time members, Joe Bradley and Ian St. Pé, left the band. Black Lips’ sound has been altered since the original drummer and long time guitarist have left, but their reckless and eclectic sound has shown itself in this album as well.

Points are given to their attempt of making Satan’s graffiti or God’s art? a conceptual album, but it wasn’t quite executed in a creative and consistent way. Had there not been short interlude tracks that feel like filler songs and no sense of consistency, it would have definitely exceeded expectations. Even though it was produced by Sean Lennon and had background vocals from Yoko Ono, it felt like they were just hanging out; you couldn’t feel their presence throughout the album. Maybe they were just there as a big names to get people to listen to this release?

As a conceptual album, I didn’t feel the vibe of a overarching theme or influence. Most of the tracks had okay vocals, but nothing throughout the album excited me to be a repeat worthy album. I would give “Can’t Hold On” and “Crystal Night” a listen when you first dive into the album. They’re easy listening tracks that had a road-tripping kind of sound but have them in the background at a party as well.

All in all, I didn’t love Satan’s graffiti or God’s art?. It feels like Black Lips need to evolve their sound and change it up a bit. A few songs are worth listening but definitely not my go-to for hot new albums of 2017.

 

 

All In My Mind And All Of The Time: Spoon – Hot Thoughts Review


There have been a number of popular indie rock bands that have been lovingly (or deridingly depending on who you talk to) labeled “dad rock” – a title given to older bands who put out a consistent stream of quality albums that are dependably good (nothing more and nothing less). While bands like Yo La Tengo and The National come to mind (the latter having a full Billboard article written about this distinction), no other band has been carrying this title quite like Austin-based indie rock band, Spoon. Spoon has been kicking for over two decades now, and while their discography hasn’t reinvented the indie rock wheel, all of their albums are still quality listens. With that being said, their new record, Hot Thoughts, is a surprising album. After a successful two decades worth of music, Spoon could have come out with an album like their acclaimed 2014 release They Want My Soul as a victory lap of sorts. However, Hot Thoughts sees the band with a newfound energy and an album that is their most playful, emotional, and experimental yet.

In terms of sound, Spoon has been known for some fantastic grooves (look no further than “Me and the Bean” from Girls Can Tell and “Eddie’s Ragga” from Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga), but no groove in their discography has been as danceable as the one on the title track which starts off the record on a high note. The groove, the bells underlying the beat, and the layered sections of instrumentation (such as the violins near the end of the track) is like a kickstart to the heart and shows right away that the band isn’t set on making another conventional indie rock record. This newfound experimentation continues on album highlight “WhisperI’lllistentohearit” who’s first-half features a tasteful, low-key brooding that’s highly reminiscent of Spoon’s discordant “The Ghost of You Lingers.” Songs like “Do I Have to Talk You Into It” and “First Caress” both feature some enjoyable piano-laden rock along with interesting electronic elements that add another layer of variation and flourish to their tried-and-true formula. But none of the tracks here exemplify Spoon’s goal for experimentation as much as the songs “Pink Up” and “Us.” “Pink Up” is a moody slow-burn that features a prominent xylophone melody and flourishes of warped vocal samples from frontman Britt Daniels. On the weirder “Us,” the band sees fit to end the record with a four-minute instrumental jazz track which builds upon the xylophone motif from “Pink Up.” It’s something that you could hear as an interlude in an instrumental post-rock album, definitely not from a band like Spoon. It’s spacey, wild, moody, and gutsy. I was definitely put off at first listen, but subsequent playthroughs definitely helped solidify the song’s place in the track listing.

Now, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Spoon purists shouldn’t be put off by the new sounds of the record. There are definitely vintage-Spoon songs such as “First Caress” and Tear It Down.” “Can I Sit Next To You” is an energized Spoon track that sounds like they listened to Rolling Stone’s Some Girls (especially “Miss You”) before they hit the studio. If I had a major gripe with the album, I would highlight “Shotgun” as being a weak song in the track listing, especially since it feels awkward as a transition to the album’s closer. As far as vocal performance and lyrics go, Britt Daniels hasn’t sounds so spirited in years. Whereas frontmen like Matt Berninger from The National find ways to sing without putting too much strain in their voice after years of wear-and-tear, Britt Daniels’ voice is still as dynamic and pleasing as ever.

Spoon is a road-tested band that continues to show that they are capable of staying around for many years more. You would think a twenty-plus-year band would begin to sound drab, but Spoon, with every release, prove capable of putting out fantastic records that sound modern in any age and do so with extreme fervor. I would highly recommend this album to fans and novices alike.

Recommended Tracks: “Hot Thoughts,” “Can I Sit Next to You,” and “WhisperI’lllistentohearit”

Mastodon? Who are they? A hot loud rock band currently trending now!!


Mastodon just so happens to be one of the hottest rock bands right now! They are an American band that has been around since 1999. Mastodon is a quartet composed of four members: Brent Hinds, Brann Dailor, Bill Kelliher, and Troy Sanders. This band is from Atlanta, Georgia, and has been around since then, and continues to release new music. If I were to classify the genre of music that the band plays, I would say they are an Alternative Metal, Alternative/Indie Rock, and Heavy Metal. Many of you who have been listening to my show know that when I played Mastodon, I actually liked their music. One of the hottest albums that is out right now by Mastodon is Emperor of Sand which was released earlier this year. This album is by far one of the best albums that I have listened to, and have played since I became a fan of them. So, with that, I have really enjoyed listening to Mastodon. When I have listened to Mastodon, their music made me feel like that I wanted to listen to it more.

Okay, so what else is new with Mastodon? Not only do they have a new album out that was released this year, they also have been on tour doing concerts to their fans and those who have been listening to their songs. They happen to have a concert scheduled for May 2, 2017, in Silver Spring, MD.

My favorite song by Mastodon that I have played is “Show Yourself”. I like that song because of the excellent way they play the drums because it is easily noticeable that they play the drums in a way that people can hear them. It has an excellent guitar that I can also hear when I hear the drums.

I am surprised that Mastodon isn’t as loud as Slipknot. When I first heard of Mastodon, I did not know who they were until I started playing their music and researching about what band they are.

So, now do you have any questions about Mastodon? I think that may be enough since I have said some things about them earlier. I hope everyone has had a wonderful time reading and learning about Mastodon!

Tremaine Album Review


For this heavily anticipated new album Trey Songz comes back with a pretty solid album named Tremaine. Tremaine is an album Trey Songz wanted to show the listeners that he is still one of the best if not the best R&B artist in the game today. Trey Songz expressed in his interview with the Breakfast Club that he named his first track on his album named Playboy because of his current situation with women. He explained that being at the stature that he is in he feels that he can not trust a woman with his heart because, there is always more calling and does not fill the urge to be committed in one relationship.  The interview with the Breakfast Club he discussed his issues with Nicki Minaj and simply put he felt that it was weak on Nicki’s part to get at him for no reason over the allegations claimed in the Shether song. Once the interview was over the anticipation of this album has gone up. There are 15 total songs on this album. I will review the once that are highly recommended to check out and listen to on rotation.

#2 song- Come Over: This song is one of the best songs on this album that brings fans right in to show exactly why Trey Songz is one of the best in his group. A must download with great vibes, hooks, and chorus throughout the whole track.

#5 song- Playboy: A song with context and understanding where Trey Songz is coming from I feel that this song is a great song to listen to in certain moods. I enjoyed the sound the message of the song and Trey Songz delivered well on this track.

#6 song The Sheets…..Still: To me this best song on the album, with how great he switched up his flow and how smooth his voice changed talking about the experience with the woman in the song definitely makes this a favorite song on the album to me.

#10 song 1×1: This song instantly is a summer vibe song that could be a great radio song to play. Nice vibes and high upbeat rhythm to this track makes you want to vibe. Highly recommended song for those looking for a summer jam.

#12 song: What Are We Here For?: One of my favorite songs on the album that is an instant radio play. With the beat and rhythm this is a quality track that will be played a lot more in the summer.

Review Score: 7/10 Very solid album that will be played from time to time.

-DjLeodawnus